jacksons

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I’m still at Jackson’s every Thursday but I still live in a kind of titular haze. [For those coming in late] I’m certainly not a chef, I’m not technically an apprentice, and I’ve lingered longer than the typical work experiencer. Dilettante, duffer, hanger-on, kitchen fop, thirtysomething man in kitchen scene… I think I was settled on gentleman chef in the sense of the gentleman farmer rather than any particular gentility. A kind of jolly good involvement while others go about the work they do every day, well. I described this in a separate conversation and I was asked like wandering in and spending 20 minutes fixing your apron?, which is exactly what I do do, so I guess there must be something in it.

What I do after I carefully arrange my apron and check my hat’s on OK varies from week to week. Last week I was taught how to do chocolate decoration using a small piping bag made from baking paper and made orange and poppyseed biscuits as part of the meal’s end. The week before that I seemed to have spent a couple of hours taking the leaves off herbs. Not quite as straightforward as it seems, coriander goes in the salad spinner to dry, mint doesn’t because it’ll break the leaves and they’ll blacken. Parsley varies from leaf to leaf and the tougher ones should be the ones left whole as garnish. Vietnamese mint gets separated into shoots and leaves. The best way to rinse them is in a bowl but don’t do what I did and pour it through a strainer because you’ll just pour the sand over the leaves again. It’s good if you can guess the right amount that will fit into a container and they should be covered with a dampened paper towel.

During service I’d do my regular tasks of veg and two salads but as there’s an extra person on I thought I’d ask if I could go down the other end and watch mains being done. The last Thursday I got to work the mash and pour the lamb sauce. This may seem a quite small thing to do and, out of context it is, but for me it’s a big deal. There is a direct link between what I put on the plate and what is put in front of a guest.

kitchen

Last Thursday was a great day. As well as the usual small picking and prepping I made the bread rolls for the day, had dinner, and then took my place at the mains end with Michelle and Mark. It takes a little while to get people in, ordered and their entrees sorted and then it goes. It’s a small space and I try not to get in the way but I was assured I’d be worked around and over if I was. My first task was to make small “shepherd’s pies” in small tarts – the trick is to cover it neatly with mash without spilling gravy over the sides or dragging it up over the mash, it took me a couple of goes. As well as this I did over a dozen different things to my usual four or five. Four salads and two veges, zapping darioles in the microwave, saucing, truffled mash for side orders and roquefort mash for the plates – trying to get a balance between under and overcompensating for serving size and taste, cooking brussel sprout leaves, grabbing plates, making small piles of couscous and chutney, making sure I kept things hot, deep frying rabbit meat croquets and small pappadums, taking on criticism and adding a bit of chat, dashes out to the cool room AND, and this is the yes moment, plating a plate on my own. Centering a dob of mash in time for Michelle to place the wagyu beef on top; then on with the sauce; taking the chanterelles, bacon, and onion mix from the pan balancing it on top; further balancing several brussel sprout leaves; giving the plate a clean; and then calling the order. Mark was good enough to say “that’s the Jacksons there” *blush*, I learnt that if you faf something up, e.g. my unsuccessful balancing act, you only get about two goes at fixing it up before it just becomes a mess. But yes someone’s steak course in the degustation menu presented by me, bang right between their cutlery. Should have taken a picture.

The experience so far has been entirely positive for reasons well beyond just the culinary aspects. As a person who is fond of instant gratuity, the process has been slow but entirely appropriate. Things learnt well are always learnt properly from the basics and worked up to. In one sense it resembles a dojo where you don’t start by practicing head kicking 20 encircling challengers or insisting that you be taught the crane kick. I’m also a person who generally takes criticism very badly and very personally and I’m getting this worked out of me. Frankly being told off by a seventeen year old apprentice is humbling and appropriate all and the same time and I’ve never been told anything that was unfair or incorrect. It’s the small details that get picked up on that make the staff so professional, if I couldn’t accept this I’d be a sobbingsniffy wreck. Learn, move on, and do it right the next time. It’s also eight or so hours of work, worky work, work that is referred to as real or honest work, and unlike, I dunno, digging ditches, it’s interesting and demanding. And what’s more it’s team work in the way that a thousand catch me I’m falling workshops aspire to – I think people are too good at what they do and too busy to have time to develop a dysfunctional workplace. And they feed me pork belly, I should return the favour by not singing at work – they deserve better.

Mental note: winged plates, entree bowls, veg bowls, rectangular rabbit plates.

lasagne

Lasagne. Potentially so much more than a vehicle for bolognese and cheese. I think it should be more regarded as a kind of baked pasta based dagwood opening up many opportunities for different fillings. This one was bechamel with parsley; tomato with majoram and basil; eggplant and mushrooms panfried in olive oil; spinach with ricotta and pine nuts; and then bechamel, parmesan and a few dabs of butter on top. Not a bit of meat to be seen. The lasagne sheets came ready to go in a plastic container. Bechamel is the only thing that takes a bit of care but I really can’t imagine lasagne with out it. Any thoughts on alternatives? Very nice and there was two or more days worth of food there which got better with each passing moment.

Back at Jackson’s hanging around and doing stuff again. Lovely to see everybody and my world has been rocked by the replacement of fennel salad on the menu by a peeled tomato and basil salad. Funny night, must have been international day of no seafood and gluten intolerance.

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rolling pasta

Despite having had this pasta maker for over a decade, I’ve never made good pasta. Most of my rolled pieces looked like they’d been made love to by a small dog. As is often the case, we attribute this to some innate personal failing. This deficit could have been transferred as a credit to some kind of projected perfect noodly deity who for some reason is deservedly punishing me. The enlightened solution is that there are problems because I was doing it wrong. Michelle the sous chef, gave me a new task at work , asking if I could make pasta and I gave my standard response to these kinds of questions which is “erm ahm yes but I’m pretty crap so could you show me”. My main problem was not enough flour on the dough. Any wet spots should be dusted throughout the rolling process. Also remember to dust the pasta roller and NEVER WASH IT EVER. A few finessing points like folding the pasta up the arm and a quick flick of the pile and clumsy, clumsy, success. No magic, just technique. I try and repeat whatever I learn on the weekend, so pasta it was last night, with beetroot for a bit of colour.

pasta ingredients


I found some “00″ rated flour at the Boatshed Markets in Cottesloe. You can use plain flour. From here it’s just making a circular dam of flour and breaking the eggs in the middle. Work the flour into the centre with a fork until it’s combined and then start kneading, adding flour to keep it from being sticky. Knead, turn, knead, turn, for about five minutes until it’s smooth, shiny, and bounces back when you poke it. At some stage you should have remembered to add the beetroot you finely grated. A bit of a thought about this. You could run it through a juicer or just grate it and then press it through a seive. I used a plastic oroshi grater. It’s usually used for daikon or ginger but it gets a nice fine consistency with beetroot and leaves only one thing to wash up.

It’s one of those read somewhere and can’t verify things is you wrap the dough in glad wrap and put it in the fridge for half an hour. Is this necessary. Anyway you can keep it in the fridge or freeze it until you’re ready. Rolling it just before the meal is a nice trick.

I cut the dough in half. Squashed it a little, dusted it with flour and ran it through the widest “1″ setting twice. Then up to “3″ and then one run at each setting up to “6″, dusting as necessary. You cann fold the roll and rest it on your forearm, unfolding it as you go along. Then slice into appropriate lengths and run through the fettucine cutter. If you’ve used enough, there’s no need to leave it hanging over chair backs, it’ll sit happily in a pile and separate when put in boiling water. And there they are there.

beetroot pasta


The sauce was a simple cheese and cream sauce that used gorgonzola and cream. Slice up chicken breast and marinate in a few cloves of chopped garlic and half a red chilli, with some salt, pepper, chopped parsley and EVOO. Cook the chicken in a pan, set aside and keep warm, and deglaze the pan with a little chicken stock and white wine. Add a cup of cream and allow it to heat before adding a handful of cubed gorgonzola and strirring at a simmer for five minutes. Toss in a tablespoon of finely sliced basil and season and stir it in.

The pasta will only take a few minutes to cook in boiling salted water so keep a close eye on it. It’s important to remember that it’ll keep cooking after it’s drained. Plate the pasta, pour the sauce over, and top with the chicken.

chicken and gorgonzola sauce


Sadly the pasta looks like it’s drowning here, something to be careful of. The pasta isn’t colourfast so it settled to a pale pink and the taste was very mild. You may wish to up the amount of beetroot from about a third of a cup to a half, if pastel is less your thing. The sauce was so rich it had a large country manor, a discreet but expensive watch, and a yacht that it would use to entertain clients on sunny days. Use moderation in serving size. Anyhoo, home made pasta-good, and as always, if I can do it you can do it. Impress your friends and yourself.

And: I noticed the Boatshed Markets has green banana leaves, which made me think of Reid’s great summery series on lu’au. Follow the trail from Kalua Pig. Mmmmm butts.

oyster shucking

“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”

“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

More skills and thrills. 50 oysters to clean and shuck. Hold the oyster in a folded tea towel and then fold the tea towel over your hand to avoid pointy repercussions. Using the oyster knife work down just to either side of the hinge point, it should just pop and then run the knife along the top to detatch. If you have to use force, you’re doing it wrong, soft power, smartly.

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Giant Ram


I pity the poor fool that doesn’t start their weekend on Thursday. Backtracking from a glass of wine to finish the night at Jackson’s, I’ve now been there approximately one week in total time, which isn’t a bad way to look at where I am and what I’ve done. I’m still learning and also consolidating. I had another go at deboning a couple of quails, I made a mayonnaise and remembered to add the oil drop by drop rather than pour it in and ask “now what?”.

I can chop chop chop and peel peel peel. I’m still doing at least half a dozen things wrong in an evening but these are at least not in the things I’ve been taught to do. Mark, who just snared himself gold, bronze, gold in a local comp, has taken it upon himself to keep an eye on me for when I stray and quickly sets me straight- whether it’s cleaning and flipping a board after chopping up garlic or the right way to segment an orange. Tanya gave me my first list of jobs, which I took as a sacred bond of trust, fields questions, and is going to teach me how to not sharpen knives like a “cocky”. Krystin is starting to get dessert questions and Michelle talked me through how she organises and works through a night of service and set me straight on reducing stocks. Chef wasn’t there , which is good because word has it I’m in the shit for my devasting review of the air-conditioning. It was a relatively quiet night so I took a few pics. I’ve organised a set on Flickr of pics you’ve seen but also some new ones. They’re here: Jackson’s Restaurant

Jackson's


Omnivoribus Australis – Edition IV is up and word has reached as far as San Francisco – home of bays, gays, and clam bisques. It’s your monthly one-stop shop for austro-zealandian food and wine blog and gender clarification. Fans of eggs and 70′s music, if they haven’t yet, should get to the EoMEoTE#11—The Round-up before the drum solo finishes.

Barchetta in Cottesloe deftly evades the general rule on bars and restaurants named after vehicles being naff (although Cafe Kremenchug Auto Zavod KrAZ-260 would not be without its charms) and disappoints by actually having reet tasty tapas and thus not letting me call it Barfetta. Pity the frustrated food snark, maybe I will anyway, no that would be wrong, wrong, wrong. Bloody noisy though, a victim of its own ocean overlooking popularity. The beers at the OBH are still cold and writing is hard work.

and then a cold frosty beer


Top tip: when taking some cheese along to a picnic, remove the plastic wrap and wrap it in greaseproof paper for that just cut from the cheese wheel look.

picnic Eric Toni and Kate


The Spice Magazine peoples had a picnic to try and capture the spirit of the summer and snag that elusive cover pic. So myself, Toni and the barge widow Kate went along to the Matilda Bay foreshore with my lambchops, asparagus, and eggplants as well as Holy Smoke Chicken pate, goats cheese, olives, bottle of champagne, a sixpack of Swan Stout and a bottle of lemonade. Mucho relaxation was had, freed from the pressures of the press room, time enough to sit in the sun, on the grass, and visualise the successful future that would bring a red and white Square Rigged Spice Yacht moored in the Swan River. I discovered I had a rare talent for making the ukelele a depressing instrument. Back to work, they’ve got three weeks left before it goes to the publishers and stay tuned for a remarkable subscription offer.

That’s it. Sunday’s good lookin’ country cookin’ will be up soon.

plinka plunka

Stop the press Crafty tip-off: I know it’s not about the stuff [cough] but how good does this look. Is it just me? Anyone actually used them? And why does one of them look like they’ve been stuffed with bin liner?

dego menu

While most of you are able to pop and in deal with just one aspect of my life, Toni has had to put up with me for 15 years. So I thought a night out might be in order. Since she’s sick of hearing about what I had to try in the kitchen at Jackson’s and we had such a good time last time we went for our fifth wedding anniversary, I booked a table there for the 9 course dego menu. Upgrading to the matched glass of wine with each course “meal deal”. Cutting to the chase, here’s all you need to know:


scallop carpaccio

Scallop Carpaccio with Carrot and Tumeric Sorbet (little bit of flying fish roe “tobiko” gave it some lovely crunch) Dukes Reisling 2004 WA;
Vietnamese Spring Rolls (salmon and foie gras, orange and mint – start at the angled cut end or it all falls out) Hugel et Fils Gewurtztraminer 2002 Alsace France;
Salmon Confit with Kiwi Fruit & Peanuts (this is interesting, it’s poached in olive oil and the thin slice of beetroot sets it off with just a little sourness) St Clair Sav Blanc 2004 NZ;


salmon confit

roast honey duck breast with pork belly

Roast Honey Duck Breast & Pork Belly (the duck breast sat on fois gras and pickled daikon) Moorooduc Pinot Noir 2001 Vic;
Rabbit & Red Wine Risotto (just great with the shredded rabbit giving just the smallest amount of contemplative chew) Orenella “le Volte” 2002 Italy;
Venison ras el Hanout (very complex Moroccan spice mix caught in a ding dong battle with a very peppery red) Woody Nook CabSav 2002 WA;
Steak Chips and Peas (wagyu) Eight Songs Shiraz 2001 SA;
Blue Cheese Strudel & Pear Yalumba Botrytis Viogner 2004 SA (a very slight fizz lifted the sweetness of the sticky);
Turkish Delight Souffle & Rose Petal Ice Cream (joyous gooey rejig of my favourite chocolate bar) Lustau “San Emilio” Pedro Ximenez Jerez Spain.


tiramisu

There were a couple of other little treats snuck in there, including one of the most nicely cooked bit of lamb I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating as for the others…well maybe I’ve revealed too much already. Was it perfect? No. The wall mounted airconditioning units could have been replaced by more discreet ones and I could have chosen a less tapered shirt, otherwise three hours of flawless food and engaging wine choices. Beyond the instinctive muh of it all, it’s three hours to think occupy your mind with food . In conclusion; with the well-executed good-humoured quirky eclecticism, the immaculately sourced referentiality, the endlessly disassemblable construction, and a measure of rejigged nostaligia, Neal Jackson is the Thomas Pynchon of the Perth restaurant scene.

And it would be back on the other side of the kitchen the next night. I’m really not fit to peel spuds here. Oh I am. Out the back? In a big bucket? Then put them in the water? Yeah yeah from the tap I know. Do you like my new peeler?


turkish delight souffle

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cabbage
I worked with Neal Jackson for the first time tonight. Henceforth Chef.

It began like this:

Me: What can I do Chef?
Chef: Go to the cool room. Get me eight potatos and there should be half a cabbage there. Not the Savoy cabbage. Savoy, the crinkly one. You want the ordinary one.
Me: The ordinary one.
Chef: Yes
[fossick and return]
Chef: Is that the only one?
Me: Ahm erm.
Chef: That’s a Savoy cabbage.
Me: Err hem.
[sound of soul gently collapsing]

It got better.

Another week. My fanciful blog life has become real and as you’re probably all thinking, it is like the uncontrollable materialisation of desires by a machine left by a long extinct ancient civilisation. So here we go:

Comestibles Kaiseki Workshop

Boiled daikon with egg tofu in dashi Peeling Daikon Grilled Salmon

I’ve always wondered what food workshops were like and I got to tag along to one as photographer for Spice mag on Monday. Good good good. Handy stuff from the kaiseki (Japanese gustation menu before gustation menus were around) chef at Yahachi. I never knew you should use the water from washing the rice when making dashi and salting fish like eggplant to draw out the fishy taste. We were treated to my favourite Japanese chef trick of shaving a long translucent strip of daikon with a knife. I’m sure if it had been the tearing a Minties wrapper competition he would have come in at 15 metres. I got to try all four courses of the various kaiseki menu items and enjoyed every last morsel. I’m inspired to tender daikon and crunchy lotus root. If that wasn’t enough, each course was matched with sake from the Australian brewery of Go-shu. Very pleasing to the tongue and better than any imported one I’ve tasted here. My favourite one, the Go-shu Nama, happened to be their cheapest. How very fortunate. Apparently it’s available at the Wembley Downs Shopping Centre (cue misty hazy memories) Liquor Store. We also got to try some Leaf (of Cottesloe and Mt Lawley) teas with a detailed explanation of each one reminding me of how ignorant I am in this area. Lapsang Souchong is now my smokey fave.

Yahachi’s site is here and Comestibles has a few more workshops this month. If you’re interested, I can email the details.

Perth Blog Awards

Kangaroo Steak Perth Blog Awards RODD

Wooh! Wednesday night at the Brass Monkey. After dining on a most tenderly cooked and deliciously seasoned with Szechuan pepper Kangaroo Fillet, I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of not one but two awards:

-Most Creative Blogger Currently Working in the Public Service
-Best Impersonation of a Giant Gnome

take that! Linus Pauling. And I was honoured to receive the RODD ancient knife of gnomic hammer and elfin tong. Legend has it, it will be used with all other trophies to serve at an afternoon tea, the likes of which can barely be imagined. Check out the others at the WA Blog Awards. More pics here.

Many thanks to Bret of Not The West for his organisations and as a shamefully late post for 3108 Blog Day, I would like to draw your attention to four new Perth blogs that have decided to enter into the fast paced and brutal world of food blogging:
-Cook & Eat
-An Electronic Restaurant by Masterchef “Noodle Cook”
-TeDAMENU Tuckertime Home
-chubby cat cooks
and because she’s a fave and spreads the good word with Omnivoribus Australis, Saffy of The Food Palate

Encore Night at Jackson’s Restaurant

service Vension chocolate ravioli

I was kindly let back into Jackson’s kitchen again. Much more settled this time. I wasn’t sweating when I got to the door. Advances were independent thinking when I prepped the veges in servings ready to go by myself without being asked; and multi-taskingin getting an order of veges out and deep fry 20 mini pappadums, albeit in laughable disarray. I also like to flatter myself that if I hadn’t noticed a small piece of styrofoam in the fennel salad I was preparing, disaster may have resulted. It was impressive to see how intense things can become with just a slight change in orders. Most of the service seemed a rattle of dishes, table numbers and controlled frenzy. You could feel the calm settle as the list orders dwindled towards the end of the night. On my modest front, I practiced slow patient cutting work with asparagus and learnt the benefits of working tidy and the efficacy of a few bowls and containers. I helped make the white bread rolls and the chocolate ravioli, as well as reprising the gremolata, and not burning my hands with the sauces I had to organise into flasks. Lots of counting things which turned out to be surprisingly tricky. There was a date and apple cake for afternoon tea and steak and frittata for dinner. A Clam Pho for a snack. I got to lick the frypan of the scrambled eggs with Western Australian truffles and try lamb cooked in a mind bogglingly complex Moroccan spice mix. Tiramisu to finish. If they’re wanting to be rid of me, they’re going the wrong way about it.

In other news:
Host-for-life Jeanne hosts EoMEoTE again, I clain (clain?); Clement continues and may have finished with the mammoth series IMBB 17 – Tea at A La Cuisine!; and money raised in the City to Surf went to Oxfam – many thanks all.

Why hello Anne, that’s a heck of a dress you’re wearing.

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Jackson's restaurant

And so it was that Anthony Georgeff, food blogger, suburban cook, caterer of dishes to house guests, and amateur dabbler in food, came to be standing at a metal door at the side of the best restaurant he’d ever been to in Perth at 1:42pm yesterday wondering whether he should attempt a days work experience and find out that what he loved doing he wasn’t particularly good at, or just run for it. Mildly sweaty, quick-eze still clinging to the molars, wondering if it would be better to stake my claim at mostly ignorant or completely ignorant. I gave the bell a twirl and committed to the anxieties that had started a week ago with my fingers hovering over the phone like a teenage courter. I was, at the very least, exceptionally good at cringing.

michelle the sous chefI was let in by Mark, the fourth year apprentice chef, this alone was a good start a friendly greeting a bonus. Within about 10 minutes, the sous chef Michelle, had me in an apron, had showed me how to stop my plastic cutting board from slipping away with wet teatowel, and kindly told me my knife that I’d be pondering whether to bring or not would be fine. We were going to make gremolata and I was hating myself for always thinking of it as a kind of sweetened ice treat and only knowing otherwise that it was some kind of salsa (which it is in a kind of citric parsley way). I’d managed to make a nice pile of orange and lemon peel shavings. So far so good and shaving got this far, she showed me carefully how to slice them into couscous grain sized pieces. My turn and my fingers turned to numbed chipolatas and I managed to make a dozen cuts, none of which cut through. Michelle was then looking sideways at my knife and a solution. It turned out the board was concave so she deftly kneed it into convex in one smooth action. I think at this point I worked myself into the belief that next would be my groin if any of the peel was larger than a couple of millimetres. Slowly but exceeeedingly finely – they could have snuck through a pepper shaker. Onwards. Check what I’d done was OK, then to garlic, and then to parsley, patiently tutored with each check. Bless. The gremolata would be used to mix in to braised shanks before serving. Next was a herb mix to pluck and puree. Busy busy. Get to meet Neal Jackson, relaxed and friendly and wearing the finest set of reptilian footwear I’ve seen since ever. I am beyond impressed. He gave me a copy of the menu and wished me well.

kitchenThe next person I meet is Tanya. She’s worked with Neal since forever and turns out to be Tanya who I knew as a kid and hadn’t seen for a couple of decades. Tanya’s family and mine used to holiday together every Christmas at a caravan park in Mandurah for about 7 years. Asteroids and Timewarp at Rollerskating stuff. Mucho laughter and small worlds. I feel at ease. I’m taught how to slice an onion finely, I’m assuming I know nothing at this stage – being shown how not chop a pumpkin into chunks was both humbling and necessary. An explanation on how she makes a rissotto. A careful demonstration of how to debone a quail, and I managed to do two of them over accounts of post high school life. Pureering curries pumpkin soup with the world’s largest bamix. Scrubbing oysters and then shucking them, steadying my hands so I didn’t run a shucker through my wrist. Separated half a dozen eggs and then we were all off for dinner out in the alleyway.

The second half would be service and my biggest worry was keeping busy without being in anyone’s way. Mark took over babysitting and talked me through making mashed potatoes. Next was my job for the night. I was fennel and rocket salad and vegetables with oyster sauce. As with everything so far, all carefully explained. The routine was this; Mark would yell out fennel and I would stare like a deer in headlights for a few seconds and get busy making one. The first went pear shaped as it needs a light hand, not an anxious grasp and another quick coaching. The next one had a stray leaf on the side, I was picked up on that. By the third set, an “is that your salad?” followed by “good job”. Huzzah! Felt like my culinary triumph for the year. Veges were a bit stingy on the oyster sauce but fine after that. I also carried out admirably, the thirty second microwaving of small containers of stuff. I had to like Mark, everything he asked me to do was made with the requisite theatricality to make it important. He’ll make a great dad. I did this and watched the work in the kitchen unfold and build in pace, never getting out of control. I was safely away at the other end being helped by Susan the first year apprentice 20 years my junior, who showed me how to make the cos salad.

The food here, by the way, is fabulous. I’ve been here twice and the food always seems to have an angle of smartness over and beyond the way it satisfies the senses. The dishes I had in the tasting menu all seems to have something new, something sharp, or something well chosen would eat through a yard of Spam to get to a scrap of their pork belly with scallops. I was given a couple of pieces of wagyu beef and the lipids did a happy dance with protein on my tongue. It left the otherwise excellent in any other circumstances and just so doneness of the duck in its shadow. I was also witness to a steady stream of luscious desserts from at my end of the kitchen. I got an explanation of parfaits and to try a couple of the sorbets they had. The rice and truffle was interesting tasted of the dusty bits of a shiitake mushroom, and the beef tasted like frozen beef stock but the lime and chili that goes with oyster is exceptional. Apologies for the lack of food pictures but, as you could imagine, I was reluctant to get in anyone’s way.

It was all over for the service with my last bowl of vegetable a little before ten. I made myself useful by carrying out the rubbish and gladwrapping bowls. I was well chuffed by this stage. Eight hours of work and every single interaction I’d had was friendly, patient, and instructive. The modern mythology of the angry chef was nowhere to be seen, just amiable professionals working well together. By 11 I was having a beer and a chat, with a sore back and hands, but satisfied and happy. I said goodbye and gave a heartfelt thanks. I could enjoy this. Go there. Soon.

post work refreshment

Jackson’s Restaurant 483 Beaufort St, Highgate, (08) 9328-1177